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Full text of "History And Human Relation"

HISTORY   AND    HUMAN    RELATIONS

history — one of the most significant for anybody who
cares to ponder over it— is the fact that Jesus Christ was
not merely murdered by hooligans in a country road/,

n

that : day. eyery^nghat pretended to be



auAority of the JRoman government, and

democracy itself which shouted to save Barabbas rather
than^Christ We cannot really say : " See what awful
gangsters these people were ". We have rather to say :
" See the terrible things that this land of righteousness
leads to ". In a profound sense we may say that the
Crucifixion, however else we may interpret it accuses
human nature, accuses all, of us, in the very things that
we think are our righteousnesses. If we followed the
twentieth-century forms of moralising, which have run
so quickly to the national sort, we might imagine that
the Jews of the time of Christ were particularly bad
sinners, worse than the rest of human nature. Our
attitude to the Crucifixion must be that of self-identifica-
tion with the rest of human nature — we must say " We
did it" ; and the inability to adopt something of the
same attitude in the case of twentieth-century events
has caused our phenomenal failure to deal with the
problem of evil in our time. So the Crucifixion, chal-
lenges the prestige and power of the Pharisaical notion
of upright living, challenges the old Roman respecta-*
bilities, and supersedes the pre-Christian notion of a
righteous man. In the light of it the claim that " oar
conscience is clear " is the ugliest pretence of all. Indeed,
if we call to mind that high-and-mighty kind of righteous--

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